BOSTON –– The end of John Farrell's tenure with the Blue Jays was messy -- to say the least.
Midway through September, Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended for three games after officials noticed his eye black contained a gay slur. Outsiders questioned Farrell's control of the clubhouse, since the issue initially went unnoticed.
After his introductory news conference on Tuesday, Farrell stood his ground concerning the controversy.
"In terms of other situations and Escobar's eye-black situation, there's a minimum amount of professionalism expected," Farrell said. "I would suspect that his teammates would have said something to him. The fact is he wrote some things on his eye black on a number of occasions. Never once was it malicious to my understanding. To think he had written something that was offensive to a large portion of the population, it was wrong. He paid the price in terms of discipline on that. "
Two weeks later, legendary shortstop Omar Vizquel criticized Farrell for failing to hold younger players accountable for their actions. He pinpointed the Escobar incident as an example of a laid-back atmosphere.
It resulted in a closed-door meeting, where Vizquel was forced to apologize for his comments. But in retrospect, Farrell insisted that he harped on discipline and indirectly claimed that Vizquel lacked the entire details in his assessment.
"The [Vizquel] comments, they might not have been fully informed as a result of the way some of the discipline is handled," Farrell said. "People are going to have their opinions, but by no means should that suggest the clubhouse is a free-for-all."
With the Red Sox, Farrell will certainly be responsible for continuing to clean up the clubhouse culture.
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